Monday, June 30, 2008

A Disagreement

Well, there is at least one person who has disagreed with my "assumption" that a designer is in error when not placing a technique in a book so that the end user has the info to complete the pattern.

This person says that not every technique should be put into the book on the basis of the author having the assumption of knowledge of techniques, in this case for machine knitting.

Well, that would be true in most cases. Take for instance the case of knowing how to do an e-wrapped cast on, or standard machine cast on, these are something you learn right from the beginning in your practices in machine knitting.

Then again, the broken toed cast on is not something I had ever heard of or seen till I opened this book I have complained about and I have been through a lot of books in the past few months. So in my little head this tells me this is a "special" cast on. Not one that is of common knowledge to everyone. Even in doing searches for this "broken toed cast on" I found very little reference to it and all those did not explain how to do this.

So if the cast on is not something of common use, or knowledge being used consistently then it should be an addition to the book in question. Especially when that book is an "easy" to do set of patterns. Doesn't easy mean not hard, and what could be harder then not having techniques be of "common" use. If a technique is not something commonly used then it a special technique and should be explained in the pattern. It is a simple matter of common sense to give the "doer" the means to "do" the entire thing and not expect them to go searching for the means to "do" even a part of the pattern.

In this case, since the designer refers the person to other product they themselves sell, then this sure looks like a means to sell other products. That is the criminal part of what I say. I am enticed into purchasing one thing, then to have the means to complete something in the first product I must buy another product to finish the first. Can we say, buyer beware. That is what this is and I intended and still intend to inform other buyers to beware.

If I buy a car, I want to be able to drive it. I do not expect that after buying the car that I now have to buy the engine to make it go, and then to find out that I also have to buy the transmission as another whole separate piece to complete the deal. Oh I also expect that car to have tires and seats, and a steering wheel. I do not expect it to be full of gas, that would be nice, but that is the thing that the buy expects to have to do themselves. There are things that are common to the thing you buy then those that are not.

If I buy a knit and purl pattern, I am expected to know how to knit and purl. That's a given, but if I buy a pattern and I find the writer has used a technique that doesn't have a common use anywhere, then that should be explained in the pattern. Thus you have those little sections at the beginning or even at the point of the start of the technique.

You know the ones that go something like this:
Techniques:
Knit
Purl

Plaited Basket Stitch:

Any odd number

"R1 (RS): k2, *insert needle in back loop of second st on left needle, k and leave on needle. Then knit the first st, then slip both sts from needle together; rep from *, end k1.

R2: p2, * skip next st and purl the second st, then purl the skipped st, then sl both sts from needle together; rep from *, end p1.

The plaited basket stitch is not something of "common knowledge". This is true of many stitch patterns that you can run across and in this case this one might be even more common then the "broken toe cast on". Even at it being more common it is still something I think should be entered into the technical section so the end user doesn't have to go looking for it. Just makes sense to me that you want those who buy your pattern to have it as easy as possible to work it.

I do understand, being that I have spent many a day helping someone to "get" something, that there will be times when you just cannot put everything into a pattern. In this case this is special, this is the start of the pattern, not some little knit purl combination somewhere along the way that you should be able to search out in some common book or website. For goodness sake, why alienate those you want to purchase your patterns but saying in any that you must buy my other book to do this one. Just isn't in my way of thinking.

So though someone might believe I have overstepped the boundaries of what should be said or thought, I do not believe I have. I spent time searching for this cast on, I found references to it, and one site with videos that didn't work. If it had not been for people posting comments here, I might still be looking for how to do this broken toed method of cast on, and that book might still be destined for the trash can. I do not pass on books that I consider "incomplete". It is just so much garbage.

3 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

I completely agree with you, if it was a method that is in every knitting machine's instruction manual I wouldn't expect it to be explained in the author's pattern instructions. As it is an alternative cast on how can everybody be expected to know how to do it if there are no instructions given?

11:16 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I agree with everything you say here. I've bought many books myself that were basically just ploys to sell others, and gotten little to no use out of them due to the frustration of having to search out things mentioned in them. :-() When it says "easy," it should mean easy. Of course, some will bring up levels of difficulty and how they're different between designers... And so on... But the basic principle is still the same. If you use something in a pattern that's not truly common knowledge, it should be explained right there, in the same book/website/whatever. I hope you do get some use out of this book, now that you've found the cast on.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Amoonsinger said...

Well the youtube video that Susan sent me to watch was not the clearest but I could totally understand what he was doing. So along with some written instructions posted to ravelry I will be ok when I try this.

I have taken time now to look through the book a little more and there is a garter carriage pattern that also looks like it will be ok for me to try.

Mary

5:51 PM  

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